reply to post by butcherguy
No not a CT scan. An MRI scan. I am a neuroradiologist, and just spent all
day today reading spine scans for discs, tumors, and the like.
Ive also had "sciatica" (radiculopathy technically) of the lumbar and cervical spine!
Advice: Small to medium disc herniations (which press on nearby nerves
irritating them to cause pain and numbness, "sciatica" named after the most
commonly affected greater sciatic nerveat L4-5) almost INVARIABLY GET BETTER!
Tincture of time. If in 3 months it doesnt get better and ruins your sleep, job,
and life in general - then pursue a surgeon's advice. Even then if you are NOT still
on percocet, consider waiting another 2-3 months if you can to avoid surgery.
Surgeon's skill vary widely institution to institution - even within the same. I would only
go to 1 of our 3 spine surgeons if that tells you something, and doctors telling patients
who not to see is very frowned upon. So do your homework before the 1st visit, NEVER
have someone book you an appt with someone you don't know a thing about.
Finally, you should know a famous swedish study of thousands of patients in the late 90's
put half the patients into medical treatment (rest, NSAID's, PT) and the other half had
discectomy (surgery). Virtually ALL patients were better at one year, from both groups. The
surgically treated group got better faster
From my experience, only the very large disc herniations (focal protrusion, synonymous) and
extrusions or free fragments may not get better with time. But i just saw a 7/10 in size
disc extrusion in a 70 year old man get completely RESORBED by his body's own immune
system in the year's time between his 2 mri scans, today. That was cool.
If $ is a problem, negotiate with a local MRI center and your doctor for reduced fees.
MRI's of the low back get reimbursed anywhere from $300-$1100 depending on the region and
local contracts. Many centers cash cost can be negotiated down to even $500-700 if you play
your cards politely and persistently (if you don't have insurance that is).
It takes me 5 minutes to look at a scan. Those center owners
own a gold mine (I don't own a machine, shucks)
Peace out and good luck!
(And don't be lifting heavy things or jumping outta airplanes, rest and follow the PT advice).
PS- i've had cervical (neck) accupuncture. Accupuncture works , in the right hands, its in our
western medical literature too....
edit on 3/5/2013 by drphilxr because: accupuncture
edit on 3/5/2013 by drphilxr because:
(no reason given)
edit on 3/5/2013 by drphilxr because: more
edit on 3/5/2013 by drphilxr because: (no reason